New York Times hosts large debate on the Christianity of presidential politics


Return To Article
  • BobP Port Alice, B.C.
    Nov. 3, 2011 11:07 p.m.

    Jesus also said, "I come not to bring peace but the sword!"

  • YouthforEagar MONROE, UT
    Nov. 3, 2011 5:52 p.m.

    Take out "since Lincoln". Ronald Reagan was definitely the greatest president ever. His communication skills were wonderful. A Lincoln-Reagan debate and well...We all know who would win...

  • Kirk R Graves West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 3, 2011 5:17 p.m.

    ThinksIThink | 12:07 a.m. Nov. 3, 2011
    There is a pretty major difference between a religious viewpoint that preaches against the U.S. ("G D America" comments) or espouses racism (Black Theology) and a religion whose doctrines vary from traditional Christianity.
    You are trying to make the issue about simply religion, but it isn't. The issue is about what doctrines are they teaching from the pulpit. Rev Wright's doctrines are anti-america, anti-white. LDS doctrines bother people simply because they are different, they are certainly not anti-america or political in nature.

  • RG Buena Vista, VA
    Nov. 3, 2011 10:16 a.m.

    To Rocket Science and everyone else: Not only was Reagen one of the greatest presidents since Lincoln, he was THE greatest president since Lincoln.

  • YouthforEagar MONROE, UT
    Nov. 3, 2011 9:12 a.m.

    Sorry, I thought your comments were at me. I just wanted to respond. Interesting, but a muslim was just nominated, by republicans, for a Virginia State Senate Seat, and it looks like he's going to win. Wow.

  • ThinksIThink SEATTLE, WA
    Nov. 3, 2011 12:07 a.m.


    I heard a lot of talk about Reverand Wright during the 2008 campaign. Many people attacked President Obama's faith. Now Mitt Romney's faith is being attacked. It's a peculiar aspect of human nature that we are only offended when our point of view (or our faith) is attacked, but not when the other person's faith is attacked.

    If you were attacking Obama's faith in 08, then your complaints about Romney being attacked seem to be based on self-interest rather than on principle.

  • mattwend IDAHO FALLS, ID
    Nov. 2, 2011 12:43 p.m.

    Religion of choice should guide all people in everything they do -- including voting or running for office. It's most important to see if candidates live what they claim to believe and second to that is that the person match your belief on issues.

    If a person claims to be Christian, but proceeds to behave in ways contrary to standard Christian behaviors, then who can trust what he or she says? If a person's religion is unfamiliar, it may be wise to research what the person believes, but choice of religion should not be as important as selecting someone trustworthy who follows his or her claimed religion, and who shares your view on politics. Please don't think you have to vote a certain way because of your religion. There is no commandment that Thou shalt vote, (or not vote) for a Mormon.

  • ksampow Farr West, Utah
    Nov. 2, 2011 10:39 a.m.

    By the way, Romney has never said or implied that he is God's choice for President, or the "true Christian" in the race. Some of the other candidates have made statements implying that they are.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 9:12 a.m.

    RE: Gramajane, Jesus did when confronted with a challenge to honor God or obey the law? And he was a Mormon. Context,
    (Jesus) said, give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.(Mt 22:21)To God what is Gods Jesus is distinguishing clearly between Caesar and God. ,Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than men!(Acts 5:29). Example,

    The right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness should be grounded in a Christians essential beliefs as well as a Mormons. Bible believing Catholics and Evangelicals agree , no flip flopping here(Romney). For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mothers womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. ( Psalm 139:13-14 NIV).

    (Judgment) Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least(elachistos*1646) of these, ye did it not to me.(MT 25:45). Applicable to*smallest least, in size,(abortion).

  • m.g. scott LAYTON, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 7:59 a.m.

    OK here is the question that I think needs to be asked of any candidate. If a religious background does not inform your world view, then what does? Something does. Something has too. It is just as important for us to know what educational or life experience gives you your view as it is for us to know of your religious background. I mean, I would want to know if a candidate had attended a university like Berkely and studied Marxism. Particularly if they came out and still agreed with it.

  • Denys Picard near montreal, QC
    Nov. 2, 2011 6:49 a.m.

    I tried to put the following comment in the NYTimes about this specific series of articles on Chrisitanity, but is has not yet posted. I hope the Christian Conservative readers of this paper might find a bit of wisdom in it. Here is how it went:

    It is always a great strategy to mute opponents by opening what pretends to be a genuine discussion on a political dimension of their persona. "Let's talk about Christianity in Politics" is meant to have an auto-censuring effect on spontaneous Christian values by making them overly self-conscious. I do not believe in the objectivity of this discussion. It is meant to soften, through intimidation, the essence of the values of a candidate to compromise to the point of weakness.
    It would more genuine for the NY Times to have a discussion on "How do Jewish Leadership hold their Ethnocentrism on a Sleeve when in Politics, Media or Finance...".

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 12:41 a.m.

    'We all pray to the God of Heaven.' - A1994 | 11:00 p.m. Nov. 1, 2011

    Not really understanding the whole 'Wicca' thing, huh? :)

    All kidding aside, we are not going to elect a Wiccan President...yet!

    I'm sure people said the same thing about a Mormon candidate.

    Well, before 2008 and all....

  • A1994 Centerville, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 11:00 p.m.


    I don't see Perry trying to look at Romney's notes. However, in the picture, Perry's countenance seems darker when compared to Romney's. I'm sure it's just a coincidence though.


    We are not going to elect a Wiccan President. Get over it. There just aren't that many Wiccans.

    But seriously, the founding fathers didn't apply a 'Christianity Test' for leadership. They were spiritual and religious men who, frankly, didn't trust organized religion. We all pray to the God of Heaven. If someone's religion makes them better, I don't really care what church they go to. Just be qualified to be President. Our last THREE presidents weren't qualified for the office.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 9:27 p.m.

    'I remember that the media cared not at all about allegations of Pres. Obama's minister preaching anti-American propaganda in church the Pres. attended for some time.' - DRay | 8:47 p.m. Nov. 1, 2011

    That's because people were busy trying to claim that Obama was a Muslim.

    Want examples?

    *'Trump on Obama's Birth Certificate: 'Maybe It Says He's a Muslim' - Fox Nation - 03/30/11


    *'Fox News host: Romney not Christian' - By Hal Boyd, Deseret News - 07/17/11

    Same source.

    So, about the whole 'liberal bias' thing.....

  • DRay Roy, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 8:47 p.m.

    I remember that the media cared not at all about allegations of Pres. Obama's minister preaching anti-American propaganda in church the Pres. attended for some time.

    Now that Mitt, of the LDSaints is running, oh, now it matters! The press or media is liberally biased, and will attack a conservative any which way they can, and do it in hypocritic fashion...its a double standard for sure.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 8:38 p.m.

    For those who want to keep religion out of politics--forget about it. We give Israel $3 billion a year with few strings attached---both major political parties are in on it and this has gone on for decades. Apparently this payment to the middle east (as well to other countries) is more important than our debt crisis. We-- emotionally-- put our objectives all on Bible prophecy and end of world scenarios. There is no logic behind this----many in our country mistaken modern day state of Israel with ancient House of Israel and think they are one in the same--and therefore we can never question higher powers. Then Sept. 11 happens and our nation goes bankrupt but we keep the payments to many many nations. Was it the Prophet Paul that said if a person can't provide for their own house, they are worse than the infidel? 1 Tim 5:8

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 8:00 p.m.

    I rather religion not enter politics. When someone tries to tell me that they're righteous, or have god on their side, my first instinct is to grab my wallet and run. Fast and far.

    When a politician says it, that instinct is magnified tenfold.

    Religion should be something you LIVE, not something you yammer on and no about. Religion is a personal experience. Organized religion is about money and power.

    Beware the person who wears his/her religion on their sleeve. If they sneeze, they're going to want to wipe their nose on yours because they don't want to sully their own.

  • OlpuebloguyInWyo Evanston, WY
    Nov. 1, 2011 7:36 p.m.

    Hey all....look at the picture. Does it appear that Rick Perry is trying to look at Romney's notes?

  • Kirk R Graves West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 7:29 p.m.

    UtahBruin | 5:40 p.m. Nov. 1, 2011
    'And by the way you say "the First Amendment prohibits government from adopting a national religion". No it doesn't.'

    Actually, as much as I hate to do it, I have to support Pagan here. The 1st ammendment does prohibit the GOVERNMENT from adopting a national religion.

    However, that doesn't imply that it prohits individuals from adopting a religion that becomes so predominant that it is, defacto, the "national religion". This is the statement I think you were trying to make.

  • als Atheist Provo, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 6:54 p.m.

    In our response to 9/11 and the terrorist threat, "Christian" leaders took an eye for an eye approach: a military response, and it has only made things worse. The more we attack and have continued to attack, the worse the problem keeps getting.

    How about a different approach? Go meet the foreign enemy first-hand, as a fellow human being, to find out what it's like in their world. Look within our own culture to find the source of our fear of others. Turn inward and confront our own fears. Fear itself is the problem, and fear-mongering is everywhere.

    We must face our fears. Somehow we have to evolve, both physically and culturally, or we are doomed to a downward spiral of self-destruction.

    I think we should start by admitting that God does not bless America or any other country above others. He does not chose one people over another, and He promises land to no one.

    These beliefs are remnants of archaic cultures that now only serve to inspire fear and justify acts of murder and genocide.

    Our salvation must come from ourselves, not from religion.

  • RAB Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 6:38 p.m.

    Since it is apparently virtually impossible for a person to be elected without lying, the question of their religion is mute. None of them abide by their religion.

  • Brother Chuck Schroeder A Tropical Paradise USA, FL
    Nov. 1, 2011 6:02 p.m.

    I told you I would tell you the truth. I didn't say you would like it.

    My views.

    "If politicians say their religion guides them, and influential ministers have a litmus test for candidates' 'biblical values' which politicians espouse policies that align with Christianity?"

    None of them, they are in Office to not thump the Bible, we look for candidates who embrace principles of our Country and the American people, for their health, safty, and well being. We don't pray for them, for their 4th form of Government that is K Street, that is a major thoroughfare in the United States capital of Washington, D.C. known as a center for numerous think tanks, lobbyists, and advocacy groups. For the GOP that's a perfectly acommitment to their false biblical principles, in the Party of Family Values. Not mine. The singular formula for applying Christianity is in "The Meeting Hall" on Sunday, in the LDS Church, not The White House.

  • UtahBruin Saratoga Springs, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 5:40 p.m.

    To Mighty Might : Your an idiot, nice try to turn this into a Mormon/Christianity thing.

    To Pagen : This crap seriously gets old. America does not favor one religion. People in America choose their faith. People in America may lean more toward one faith, doesn't mean "America" chooses on over the other. Doesn't mean Catholics are better than Mormons, or Baptist are better then Catholics...etc. It means people make a choice, and that is the great thing about America. We get to make choices. And by the way you say "the First Amendment prohibits government from adopting a national religion". No it doesn't.

    Amendment I
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    You see, it makes no law about establishing a religion. And it does not prohibit the free exercise of religion. You people need to get off the 1st Amendment, you don't even understand it properly. Use your head, that's why God gave it to you.

  • Gramajane OAKLEY, ID
    Nov. 1, 2011 5:10 p.m.

    Did anybody else notice what I found SO interesting - that only one of the debate group supplied a scripture from the Bible showing what Jesus did when confronted with a challenge to honor God or obey the law? And he was a Mormon.

  • Honor Code Denver, Colorado
    Nov. 1, 2011 4:13 p.m.

    Religion and Politics don't mix!!!

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 3:43 p.m.

    @YouthforEager - I wasn't responding to you at all, and have no clue what you're even talking about with Eric Cantor.

    But if the judgmental shoe fits...

  • YouthforEagar MONROE, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 3:29 p.m.

    That's not what I'm saying. I'm just saying, all of the founders of the republican party were devout christians. That's all I wanted to point out.

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 3:13 p.m.

    I think anyone who conclusively says "Jesus is more aligned with my political affiliation than your's" has probably run out of ideas and is losing the battle on whatever topic is being debated. That person probably has no political empathy whatsoever, and even lesser understanding of Jesus.

  • YouthforEagar MONROE, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 2:20 p.m.

    Christianity is what the republican party WAS built on, but now we've got Eric Cantor.

  • Rocket Science Brigham City, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 1:29 p.m.

    The New York Times declared it is fair to ask: "If politicians say their religion guides them. . . Isnt it pretty well understood that a persons sum total of experience is going to shape and guide their outlook and their decisions? That is the same for all persons be they religious or not.

    In politics one size does not fit all. For example Mitt Romney, Harry Reid, Mike Lee and Jim Matheson belong to the same religion but their political ideologies vary significantly. Mitt Romney is not as conservative as Mike Lee, Jim Matheson is more liberal than Romney and Harry Reid is more liberal than Matheson.

    What do I care about then when voting? Is the person honest? Is he faithful in his own home? Does he seem to support issues that preserve freedom and liberty? Does he seem to be wise and able to adjust to situations governing with wisdom? I dont really care what the religion is or even what party for that matter. Only last week did I find out what religion Ronald Reagan was and in my opinion he was one of the greatest Presidents since Abraham Lincoln.

  • jzwillows willows, ca
    Nov. 1, 2011 1:15 p.m.

    A good Mormon president would be better than a bad president of the official Christian religion (the group that decides who is and who isn't a Christian).
    A good Jewish president would be better than a bad Mormon president.
    A good Muslim president . . . and so on . . .
    So why not look for good cadidates by considering their beliefs on the constitution and forget their religious beliefs?

  • Furry1993 Clearfield, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 12:51 p.m.

    The one concern I have about religion in politics is this -- how much will the candidates attempt to impose their religious beliefs on the jurisdiction they seek to represent/govern. If they will follow the Constitution, and not seek to establish their religion as the be-all and end-all of how everyone in the country should and live and believe, then let them believe what they want. If they, as the radical fundamentals are wont to do, try to impose their lifeway on everyone else, then they must be rejected.

  • Macfarren Dallas, TX
    Nov. 1, 2011 11:31 a.m.

    Khan says Mitt "emphasizes his 'Christianity' in the hope that it will distract from his liberal tendencies . . .

    Khan, are you nuts? If anything, Mitt has been completely avoiding mentioning religion because he knows it's currently a hotbed of controversy.

  • casual observer Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 11:20 a.m.

    I have no interest in personal insight into Romney's faith, or Joe Lieberman's Judaism, Perry's fundamentalism, Biden's Catholicism, Obama's devotion to Rev. Wright, ad nauseam. Let's hear about economic policy, energy, trade, taxation, immigration, foreign policy, Supreme Court philosophy and a list of other important items.

    Please stop rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 10:56 a.m.

    This nation has its cultural basis in christianity, but the government isn't christian, it is one dedicated to freedom of religion.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 10:31 a.m.

    'New York Times hosts large debate on the Christianity of presidential politics' - Title

    What about the 'Wicca' of presidental politics?

    Or the Muslim?

    Oh! Wait! That's right!

    America favors only ONE religion...

    Federal judge dismisses Summum suit against Pleasant Grove By Dennis Romboy DSNews 06/04/10

    A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the city that claim it violated the establishment clause of the US consitution by allowing a Ten Commandments monument by rejecting one showing the the Salt Lake-based religious sects beliefs. The clause in the First Amendment prohibits government from adopting a national religion.

    And then claims it is 'tolerant.'